Mint Hill mayor says he supports House Bill 514

MINT HILL, NC (WBTV) - Mint Hill Mayor Ted Biggers tells WBTV he supports House Bill 514. If the general assembly approves it, the towns of Matthews and Mint Hill could split from Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District (CMS) and create their own charter school district.

This comes as a surprise to CMS leaders who thought Mint Hill opposed the bill. CMS received this email from the Mint Hill Town Manager Brian Welch back in October.

"The Town of Mint Hill Board of Commissioners has taken no action on this matter and this includes any requests for or support of such legislation," Welch wrote.

CMS thought that email was proof Mint Hill would not support the bill. Biggers says the email meant the town would not publicly support or oppose the bill. Mint Hill mayor says if House Bill 514 passes, there are no plans to create a charter school district. He says it's just good to have the bill as an option.

The next stop for House Bill 514 is for lawmakers to vote on it. The general assembly meets again in May. Senator Jeff Tarte knows about the drama surrounding House Bill 514.

"Generally I know I am leaning in allowing Matthews to establish charter schools," Tarte said.

Tarte has heard about the back and forth of CMS leaders and Matthews Town Leaders over the bill. CMS board members have said if the bill goes through, the district may not invest in new schools for the Matthews area.  Matthews Town Commissioners have said they will not enact the bill if CMS takes care of their concerns. CMS leaders argue that proves this bill is more about politics than educating students.

"I think once the emotion dies down we will look at the data. Everybody steps back," Tarte said.

Tarte says he hasn't totally made up his mind. He wants to first hear from his constituents.

"If the parents definitely do not want this charter school I won't be supporting it," Tarte said.

CMS wants to plan a public hearing for parents to talk about the impact of House Bill 514.

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